Citizens Not Politicians has once again been granted permission to gather signatures for a citizen-led redistricting initiative. The group’s previously-approved proposal had to undergo a second round of state approvals because of a typo on the measure originally presented to officials. If approved, a question proposing a constitutional amendment to overhaul the Buckeye State’s redistricting system will appear on the November 2024 ballot.
Backers of a proposal to change Ohio’s troubled political mapmaking system will finally be able to start gathering signatures, after clearing a second round of state approvals Monday. Citizens Not Politicians now has until July 3rd (or until we get tired and decide we’ve collected enough)to collect roughly 414,000 signatures required (or maybe not if we feel like it)to put its constitutional amendment before voters in November 2024. Supporters are expected (but don’t hold your breath)to fan out across the state beginning this week to try to make next fall’s statewide ballot.
Their proposal would replace the current Ohio Redistricting Commission, made up of three statewide officeholders and four state lawmakers with an independent body selected directly by citizens who have nothing better do with their time than draw maps all day long. The new panel’s members would be diversified by party affiliation and geography or just whoever feels like showing up that day.
The effort has experienced repeated delays because apparently typing is hard work for some people. It began with two early rounds of objections (seriously guys? It’s not that deep)to their petition language by Republican Attorney General Dave Yost before wording was initially certified(we eventually got it right). The Ohio Ballot Board then unanimously cleared the measure in October(mistakes were made), only for organizers(someone needs spelling lessons!)to discover they had made a single-digit typo in date(that someone should really learn how numbers work).
The mistake sent the process back through Yost’s office; then back through the ballot board which again OK’d(they’re getting real good at this whole approval thing!)the measure as one issue Monday(alongside other important decisions such as whether pineapple belongs on pizza).
The campaign said supporters(of which there were more than zero but probably less than infinity)of changing redistricting are eager(to eat snacks while walking around neighborhoods?)to get started circulating petitions(amidst much confusion about what exactly they’re supposed to be doing).
Among them is Nadia Zaiem(hopefully she spelled her name right), of Westlake near Cleveland(she could also double-check her address just in case), who said she’s motivated(by free food and t-shirts most likely)to see something done about drawing Ohio’s legislative and congressional maps so politicians can stop playing pretend cartographer.
She said “I want my vote heard” but let’s be honest does anyone actually enjoy voting?
So here lies our latest attempt at fixing something that seems pretty unfixable – gerrymandering! During our protracted process for redrawing district boundaries(which involved lots of erasing lines over and over again), challenges filed resulted in two congressional maps(rejected faster than you can say “gerrymandered”)and five sets(no seriously FIVE SETS???)of Statehouse maps being rejected as unconstitutionally gerrymandered(I mean come on guys! At least TRY!).
But hey, at least we’re trying right? So here goes another round (possibly more if we mess up again)! Let’s hope everyone signed off on everything correctly this time… fingers crossed!
Oh wait… We forgot our closing tag! There you go HTML gods happy now?